The QV Pride looks for first state tournament play

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Mon., Nov. 18, 2013
Coach Joe Asermelly and quarterback Tylor Genest watch the defense hold the line. Photos by D. Coffey.
Coach Joe Asermelly and quarterback Tylor Genest watch the defense hold the line. Photos by D. Coffey.

The Quinebaug Valley Pride football team is riding a six-game winning streak and a program-best 8-2 record into its Thanksgiving Day game match-up with the Killingly Redmen. This game is a must-win for the Pride if they are to qualify for state tournament play.
Coach Joseph Asermelly says they are not the biggest or the fastest players in the league, but they play exceptionally hard for one another and continue to find ways to win.

In their game against Platt Tech, quarterback Tyler Genest scooped up a lateral attempt by Platt Tech’s quarterback Elmer Cruz and gave his team an opportunity to score in the first quarter. Senior running back John Sanderson took it to the end zone for the first score of the game, and the team rode that momentum to a 27-0 victory.

Their latest contest on Nov. 15 featured an exciting come-from-behind win - the team's third this season. Down 28-6 at the half, the Pride ramped it up to overpower Bullard Haven in the second half and come away with a 40-34 OT win.

Asermelly noted that the Bridgeport squad featured quick, athletic players, but that the Pride defense stepped it up. Led by Defensive Coordinator Austin Hall, they continue to impress with their solid defensive schemes and inspired play. Senior Benny Brissette, middle linebacker, has helped lead a resilient group.

On offense, quarterback Tylor Genest has emerged as a leader, making big plays and good decisions with the ball in his hands. His ability to go audible at the line gives them the best chance to succeed in the passing or running game, Asermelly said. The Pride hopes to feature the run first option on offense, as running backs John Sanderson and Raiff Santerre have led a team rushing game that has combined for more than 3,000 yards on the season.

“We have a couple of sophomores in Logan Putnam and Saige Louis at wide receiver who have stepped it up on offense,” Asermelly said. Sophomore Jeremy Perez has also provided solid play at linebacker on defense.

The junior group has continued to anchor the team and have helped add to the team’s success.

The four senior captains, Tyler Genest, Benjamin Brissette, Connor Pion and Niko Dimopoulos, have seen the football program develop over the last four years.  “Its been encouraging because we’re not only having success this year. I think you’re seeing a program being built in live time where the standard is we’re going to compete every year,” Asermelly said.

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